Nonito Donaire is giving Father Time the fight of his life. The 38-year-old veteran knocked down Nordine Oubaali of France (17-1, 12 KOs) three times en route to a fourth-round knockout victory Saturday night in Carson, California.
Donaire (41-26, 27 KOs) won the WBC World Bantamweight title.
“The King has returned!” laughed Donaire after he had his hand raised.
Donaire didn’t lose a step since he gave Naoya Inoue the fight of his life in 2019. Confident and composed from the opening bell against the jittery Oubaali, the outcome seemed inevitable. Donaire sized up Oubaali after the first round, and put on a counterpunching clinic.
The first knockdown came with 45 seconds left in the third round from a hard left hook. The 34 year old Oubaali beat the count. Donaire repeated the knockdown right at the bell. Referee Jack Reiss cleared the ring, counted Oubaali down, and let him return to his corner.
Donaire made it stick with a left uppercut to end the fight at 1:54 of round four. Donaire said after the bout he identified Oubaali’s pattern early, allowing him to counter with the left hook.
“Being at this age is really not the question, it’s my performance,” said Donaire. “It matters not what your age is, but how strong you are mentally. What I learned from Inoue is I’m back, because I was competitive with him. I’m ready for the next one.”
Donaire says he has one goal left to conquer. “The only thing I have not accomplished is becoming undisputed. I’m going to get there.”
In the co-main event, Subriel Matias of Puerto Rico (17-1, 17 KOs) battered Batar Jukembayev of Kazakhstan (18-1, 14 KOs) in a Carson classic, forcing Jukembayev’s trainer Manny Robles to stop the fight after eight rounds. Matias wins the IBF junior welterweight title eliminator by 8th round TKO.
Matias caught Jukembayev halfway into the fourth round, landing a hard left hook behind a lead right. Jukembayev got up and stood tough while Matias kept up the torrid pace until the fight was stopped. Scorecards were competitive at the time of the stoppage, two reading 77-74 and 76-75 for Matias.
Gary Antuanne Russell of Maryland (14-0, 14 KOs) remained undefeated in the Showtime opener, delivering a nonstop assault against a tough but outgunned Jovanie Santiago of Puerto Rico (14-2-1, 10 KOs). Russell caught Santiago early in the fourth round, dropping him with a body shot followed by a right hook to the chin. Santiago’s corner stopped the bout after the sixth round to save him from additional punishment. Russell had a clean sweep on all three scorecards after six rounds. The 24-year-old Russell said he’d like a crack at Adrien Broner next.